Saturday, 17 November 2012

Do the Right Thing (1989)

Tom:
Do the Right Thing,1989,USA
Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Spike Lee, Danny Aiello & Ossie Davis

''Whoa. Y'all take a chill. You got to cool that shit off. And that's the double-truth, Ruth.''

I have never really explored the filmography of Spike Lee as of yet, sure I have seen '25th Hour' which I consider one of my favorite films, but I have never really seen anything else of Lee's, not even 'Do the Right Thing' which is usually considered to be his finest and most popular work, and one of the most important films of the 80's.

In Brooklyn, on the hottest day of the year racial tensions boil to violent proportions as peoples hate and ignorance get the best of them.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last (checks watch) 23 years, you would have heard of this film and the impact it has made, Spike Lee is an obviously passionate African American activist and has made a career of attempting to break down the barriers of racial prejudice in our modern society through his films. 'Do the Right Thing' is hes most accurate and universally acceptable film depicting the ridiculousness of racism.

The film is an odyssey through a day in life of an African American neighborhood, its the hottest day of the year, as the weather brings out the worst in some people. Races depicted in this film are Whites, Blacks & Koreans, all of which despise each other and refuse to see eye to eye.

Lee may get criticized for whatever reason nowadays, but there is no denying that he made a truly great film with 'Do the Right Thing', he writes, directs and stars and does a hell of a job doing all three, hes passion through in this script and while it can be misconstrued as right winged, I would call it realistic.

The film is in my view, an ensemble piece, there is no real main character, Lee's Mookie may be the closest though, its up to the audience to decide who the protagonist and antagonist are, which is a beautiful thing and something that other films don't utilize or do properly, its one of the ultimate acts of audience participation.

The cast is all fantastic, Lee is great, Ossie Davis brilliant, Danny Aiello, John Turturro and Richard Edson are all fantastic. The film also features Rosie Perez, Ruby Dee and Samuel L Jackson before he became a big name.

'Do the Right Thing' is really an unforgettable experience, I am so thankful I finally got around to watching it, but am baffled as to why it took me so long. I can understand the heavy praise this film receives and I intend to be one of those people praising it from now on. Thank you Spike Lee for creating such a sad, entertaining and confronting film that questions our prevalent racial barriers.

''Violence is a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it a descending spiral ending in destruction for all.''

****1/2

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